Government approves further easing of anti-epidemic measures, pupils able to discard masks in all regions

The Czech Government approved extraordinary measures of the Ministry of Health easing certain anti-epidemic measures at its session today. Starting on 15 June, pupils will no longer be obliged to wear masks in school in any of the regions. Starting on 1 July, live music will be allowed in restaurants and the maximum number of people attending mass gatherings and the number of people allowed in swimming pools will be increased. Subject to the determined conditions, audiences of up to 5,000 people outside and up to 2,000 people inside will be allowed to attend cultural events (concerts, theatre performances and films, etc.), sporting events, congresses and educational events.

Starting on 15 June, pupils, students and teachers in the Zlín Region, the South Bohemian Region and the Liberec Region will be able to take of their masks during lessons just like the rest of the country. However, they must still be worn in the communal areas of schools all over the country. The obligation to wear masks is also being lifted in these regions at work, this being for people working in one place without the presence of people other than their co-workers.

“The epidemic situation has improved over the last week in all of the regions. This is why we have decided, on the basis of a recommendation by the public health authorities, to cancel the obligation of wearing masks in class and at work in those regions where we had so far left this obligation in place,” says Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch, clarifying the reasons for this relaxation.

Further relaxation of the anti-epidemic measures will be taking place from 1 July, when the maximum number of people allowed to attend cultural performances, sporting events and also educational events will be increased. An audience of up to 2,000 people inside and up to 5,000 people outside will now be able to attend these events. Live music productions will also be possible in clubs and catering facilities, only the ban on dancing being kept in place for the time being. “People come into close contact with each other when dancing, during which there is a high likelihood of droplets spreading. This also increases the risk of transfer of the COVID-19 disease,” says Chief Public Health Officer Pavla Svrčinová, explaining the reasons why the ban on dancing will not yet be lifted.

The increase in maximum capacity also relates to private and public mass gatherings, this being with the presence of up to 500 people being allowed inside and 1,000 people outside. The capacity of swimming pools and wellness facilities will also increase, this being up to 75% of their total capacity. The condition that services be provided only to one customer at any one moment in time is now also cancelled for activities which pose a higher epidemiological risk (hairdressers, cosmetic salons, manicure and massage, etc.). The obligation to keep records of customers is also cancelled.

The changes starting on 15 June also relate to quarantine measures, when it is now only people who have been fully vaccinated with at least 14 days having passed since the application of their second dose who will not have to go into quarantine (14 days since the application of the first dose in the case of the Janssen vaccine). “The reason for this is particularly the increase in the detection of coronavirus mutations, when clinical studies have proven that protection need not be sufficient after the first dose,” adds the Chief Public Health Officer.

The obligation of proving that you are infection-free persists in services and for cultural, sporting and other mass gatherings, i.e. provision of proof that you have been vaccinated, that you have a valid negative test result or that you have had COVID-19 within the past 180 days.

“All citizens over the age of 16 can now register for vaccination. I am really pleased that the rate of vaccination is so high, even among young people. More than 2 million people are already fully vaccinated and more than 4 million people have already had the first dose. This is the only way to effectively counter the COVID-19 pandemic. The sooner we are all vaccinated, the sooner we can put the pandemic behind us and get our normal lives back without any restrictions,” stated Minister Vojtěch, emphasising the importance of vaccination.

The full version of the extraordinary measures will be available during the course of the evening on the website of the Ministry of Health.